Transliteration Principles

For any questions regarding transliteration that should arise after reading the guidelines, individual issues should be opened.

You can use this tool to update text transcribed according to the old convention to these or to enter fidal or correctly transcribed text and get the other of the two.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
a u i ā e ǝ o
ethiopic transcription
ha
la
ḥa
ma
śa
ra
sa
qa
ba
ta
ḫa
na
ʾa
ka
wa
ʿa
za
ya
da
ga
ṭa
ṗa
ṣa
ḍa
fa
pa
qʷa
ḫʷa
kʷa
gʷa
va
ča
ǧa
č̣a
q̲a
ḵa
ša
ña
ža
[ŋa]
[ŋʷa]

for Schwa - please always use ǝ (01DD, Latin Small Letter Turned E) and not ə (0259, Latin Small Letter Schwa)

for Alif - please always use ʾ (02BE), not ˀ

for Ayn – please always use ʿ (02BF), not ˁ

for č̣ - please combine out of č (010D) and ̣ (0323)

for apices use <hi>

12<hi rend="apices">th</hi>

For kʷ, gʷ, ḫʷ and qʷ using ʷ (modified w 02B7), which you find also in codetemplates.

Please transcribe name starting with aleph with aleph.

ʾƎsṭifānos and not Ǝsṭifānos

Prepositions are always separated by the following word by a hyphen:

kāhǝnāt wa-diyāqonāt

Names containing prepositions are however, spelled as one word:

  • Baḫayla Mikāʾel and not Ba-Ḫayla Mikāʾel
  • Zamikāʾel ʾAragāwi (not Za-Mikāʾel ʾAragāwi)
  • Naʾakkwǝto Laʾab (not La-ʾAb)

See also Dubious Spellings and especially the standardization rules for records coming from EAe.

Capitalisation

In transliterated titles (whether the title of the work record or the title of a manuscript containing the work), the first word and all proper names should be spelled with a capital, so for example Wəddāse ʾAmlāk.

Please open individual issues for particular cases that need discussing.

Standardisation of transcription from Encyclopaedia Aethiopica

  • all the above should be applied to transcriptions from ETHIOPIC only.

  • ä for first order should be changed into a

  • a for fourth order should be changed into ā

  • initial alef must be reinserted (ʾa, ʾo, ʾe, etc)

Ambiguities:

  • A, a (at the beginning of a word, A/a vowel occurs only here) > ʾA / ʾĀ, ʾa / ʾā depending on the order (write ʾA/ʾa when unsure)

  • ʿA (or ʿa) > ʿA / ʿĀ (or ʿa / ʿā) depending on the order

  • Ha (or ha) > Ha / Hā(or ha / hā) depending on the order

  • Ḥa (or ḥa) > Ḥa / Ḥā (or ḥa / ḥā) depending on the order

  • Ḫa (or ḫa) > Ḫa / Ḫā (or ḫa / ḫā) depending on the order

Amharic transcriptions

The same transcription system as that of Gǝʿǝz is applied. The orthography of the transcribed text is always followed, so for example ከወልወል፡ እስከ፡ ማይጨው፡ is transcribed as Ka-walwal ʾǝska Māyč̣aw.

Again, if you come across a case which you feel is not properly covered by the guidelines or have any doubts, please open an issue.

Arabic transcriptions

In general, the same transcription system as that of the EAe is applied. However, Hamzat qaṭʿ is always to be transcribed. Titles and names are transcribed without case endings:

Šarḥ sabab intiqāl mamlakat Sulaymān malik ʾIsrāʾīl ʾilā bilād an-naǧāšīya allatī hiya al-ḥabaša

Other languages

If you want to transliterate a language that is not or is only partially covered by these guidelines, please be sure to:

  1. check whether it has already been transliterated somewhere in the project
  2. if so, decide whether or not you agree with the transliteration used
  3. open an issue describing the current state
  4. after eventual discussion, document the transliteration here

Please do not start to wildly transliterate without following these steps. This would inevitably lead to inconsistencies and mistakes.

This page is referred to in the following pages

Revisions of this page

  • Pietro Maria Liuzzo on 2018-04-30: first version of guidelines from Wiki
  • Dorothea Reule on 2018-05-17: Added paragraph on Amharic
  • Dorothea Reule on 2018-05-24: Edited and added paragraph on other languages